After an excellent Easter weekend making the most of the sunshine and going back to Birmingham for a fencing competition, I came back to POST motivated to start writing my note!
The interview I was scheduled to have this afternoon was cancelled and so I had the whole day to set up the template and spend a long time staring at the blank page before starting to get some words down...
I collected some references together, so that when I come to put statistics in I can find where I found them easily. This is when I wish I was able to use my usual combination of Mendeley reference manager and LaTeX, as I'm not used to battling with Microsoft Word!
I came in this morning to be almost immediately greeted by a phone call from one of my interviewees saying that they had changed their mind about being interviewed: apparently their use of big data is not something they want to talk about publicly yet. This is slightly annoying, but hopefully I have spoken to enough people in the same industry that it shouldn't leave too much of a hole.
I then had two telephone interviews in the morning, and rewarded myself with some millionaire's shortbread from Ravello's! I then spent most of the afternoon writing up the interviews and investigating whether any organisation has looked into developing an accreditation scheme for data scientists.
Lydia and I were supposed to start our day with a phone interview, but our interviewee ended up stuck underground on a hot tube train with three fainters! Instead we had a useful meeting between the two of us - sorting out the timetable for me drafting my note and it going through the internal and external review process. We decided to schedule the internal review for the 15th May, so before then I need to have drafted it and discussed it with Lydia a number of times - better get writing!
When the notes are put together, it's important that we speak not only to relevant parties in industry and academia, but also those from the third sector, so I investigated consumer groups who may have opinions on the use of big data by businesses. I also looked through the interviews carried out for the Social Media and Big Data note, which asked similar questions.
I finished the day by making sure that I was fully prepared for my two interviews the next day - opportunities to learn about the financial services and insurance industries, as well as speaking to someone from the market research society.
Starting off the day with a 9:30 interview seemed like a good idea, until I realised this did not give my goggle marks time to go away after swimming! In combination with my now very obvious cycling short tan lines, I may aswell have the word "Triathlete" tattooed across my forehead... Luckily my interviewees either didn't notice or were too polite to comment, and we had a really interesting and productive conversation about how the financial sector is using big data currently and what the future might hold in this industry. I'm not a regular coffee drinker and Portcullis house must have been using a particularly strong blend, as I was pretty much knocked sideways by my Mocha... Although this did mean that I was super-speedy writing up my notes from the interview!
My late afternoon interview had been cancelled, so that gave me more time to speak to the market research society and learn more about the data protection act and it's effect on businesses using personal data.
Today was a day of learning - showing just how useful it is to speak to people rather than spending hours trawling books and papers. I wonder whether this is why I found the modules in my Doctoral Training Centre course so useful for writing the literature review for my PhD.